New rules strengthening existing firewalls to help prevent the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy will soon be implemented by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. For feed, the interim final rule, will implement four specific changes in FDA's present animal feed rule.

The new safeguards are science-based and further bolster these already effective safeguards.

First, the rule will ban ruminant-derived blood and blood products from feeding to ruminants. The rule will also ban the use of poultry litter as a feed ingredient for ruminant animals. Third, the rule will ban the use of plate

waste as a feed ingredient for ruminants. Fourth, the rule will further minimize the possibility of cross-contamination of ruminant and non-ruminant animal feed by requiring equipment, facilities or production lines to be dedicated to non-ruminant animal feeds if they use protein that is prohibited in ruminant feed.

In addition, there will be interim rules to ban the following materials from FDA-regulated human food and cosmetics:

  • Any material from “downer” cattle.
  • Any material from “dead” cattle.
  • Specified Risk Materials that are know to harbor the highest concentrations of the infectious agent for BSE, such as the brain, skulls, eyes, and spinal cord of cattle 30 months or older, and a portion of the small intestine and tonsils from all cattle, regardless of their age or health.
  • The product known as mechanically separated beef, a product which may contain Specified Risk Materials.

To accompany the new measures, FDA said it will, in 2004, step up its inspections of feed mills and renderers. For more information about FDA's work on BSE and other related links, go to http://www.fda.gov.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration